Hakone has long been the weekend and vacation playground of big city dwellers in Japan, renowned for its therapeutic hot spring baths, beautiful mountains, Lake Ashi, and prime views of Mt. Fuji. It is also chock-a-block with ryokan, or inns, from the most modest hostel-like accommodations to indulgent spa resorts with top-flight kitchens. Ginyu, part of a group of lodgings called The Ryokan Collection, falls into the latter category. Kimono-clad greeters whisk away your shoes and bags upon arrival, even cleaning the wheels of your suitcase so as not to sully the tatami_-matted floors. Rooms come in Japanese or western styles, and in addition to having access to the single-sex public hot spring baths, or _onsen, each room has its own private version as well. Both are on outdoor decks, so you can enjoy the clean mountain air. The elaborate dinners and breakfasts served in-room are breathtaking odes to the season. You will be tempted not to leave Hakone Ginyu until it’s time to check out.
Photo credit: The Ryokan Collection